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Bamako By Vespa

January 22, 2012

Three Norwegians are taking part in an overland rally event called Budapest-Bamako on Vespa scooters. The rally is described as a poor-man’s Dakar and is not unlike the early days of the most famous desert rally, now run in South America for security reasons. The trio are just taking part in the African leg of the journey ending in Guinea Bissau (Yes, I just linked to the CIA World FactBook. Just want to remind people that there is information on the interwebs other than on Wikipedia!), but still no easy task as it appears to be the most challenging part. Their web site and their facebook page detail their progress and challenges. When you think making a trip across a few States in the US for Amerivespa is going to be too difficult, read up here an get motivated to put your big boy pants on and ride.

MP3, Piaggio Lineup, and Vespa Colors Slashed

January 19, 2012

Desaturate 100%
A Piaggio/Vespa dealer has told 2strokebuzz that a new 2Q 2012 dealer order form from PiaggioUSA has eliminated a large share of the Piaggio product line from the U.S. market, most notably the full range of MP3s.

According to our source, The Piaggio MP3 250, 400, and 500cc three-wheelers are no longer available to dealers, and the promised MP3 Yourban 300 will not replace them, let alone the endlessly-hyped hybrid that Jay Leno promised dealers in 2008. It appears Piaggio is totally abandoning the MP3 in the United States.

(UPDATE: Other evidence suggests the MP3 Yourban will be available in the U.S. later this year, probably with 350cc displacement. see comments.)

The BV lineup, previously available in 250, 300, and 500cc displacements, is now limited to the new 350 model in black or silver only.

The Vespa line is being desaturated in a more literal way, with a far smaller color palette. The Vespa GTS/Super 300i is no longer available in red, and the Vespa 150 LX S loses its red, orange, and two-tone versions, it will now be available only in Black or Titanium.
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Vespa ET4 “Life Destroyer” Limited Edition

January 4, 2012

Can’t believe none of us have woken up to this on a rally Sunday morning: Vespa covered in abusive graffiti by vengeful lover. Ouch!

Via Vespa Lexington (a month ago, sorry).

Stop & Reflect: Braking Options From TSR

December 30, 2011

As mentioned here before, The Scooter Republic out of the UK and SE Asia has developed a new disc brake option for a few old Vespa models. Sam from TSR, a 2SB sponsor, sent along some pictures of the disc brake mounted on a Sprint-style fork. Compared to the previous posting on that prototype it looks like it’s gotten quite the polishing job. Bling.

The smallframe, old-style, hub version has also gotten the anti-dive design worked in as well and is currently available via their Ebay store. But as yet I’ve not seen that model mounted. If someone wants to trade me a set of old v90 wheels, hubs and fork and 592.52 USD in exchange for a PK fork with Paoli shock complete with wheels drop me a line and I’ll try to arrange a test!

Bateman Goes Wilde for Vespa (ooof!)

December 9, 2011

Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde on a handsome vintage trap-headlight Vespa Sprint, filming “The Longest Week.”

Someone fine me a photo of Justine Bateman on a scooter, then we’re talkin’.

Via Vina Vroom, reading celebrity news so I don’t have to!

TGB’s GTS 300i clone

December 1, 2011

Things seem to have been pretty quiet in Kennesaw, GA lately, maybe this will shake things up.

Modern PK Automatic at EICMA

November 8, 2011

This is just a short post to beat Bryan and the new cub report, Matt, to the punch.

It appears that rumors are true (but are secrets really lies?). LML has shoehorned an automatic into a PK body. They are showing it off at the big bike show EICMA, in Italy. I noticed the photo posted in Scooter Mercato‘s facebook feed. Thanks, Dave.

Discuss. (Likely more analysis to follow.)

The Hoffmann Vespa Story: Nazis, Bankers and Another Case of Piaggio Licensing Gone Wrong

November 3, 2011

SIP Scootershop posted a history of the Hoffman Vespa on their community blog. It’s not fluff piece and it’s worth a read. Anyone with a Hoffman GS out there, raise your hand.

Burn Like Fire in Cairo

October 26, 2011

Two Italians are participating in the Pharaons International Cross Country Rally taking place across Egypt on two specially prepared P200’s. Check out their bikes and short video here and lets hope not everyday is like this.

The Who Sell Out (Again)

October 25, 2011

A few years back, Lambretta Clothing teamed up with The Who to reissue some of the band’s Mod-est attire, including the famous parka from the cover of Quadrophenia, pre-stenciled for your convenience. Apparently Lambretta marketing contracts aren’t worth much these days, so with a new Quadrophenia CD/DVD “Directors Cut” box set coming out, they’ve switched alliances to Vespa. Mancunian twit Liam Gallagher will display a new PX125-based Quadrophenia scooter, film memorabilia, and Who-insipired fashions–including (again) the Quadroparka–at his Pretty Green clothing store on (where else?) Carnaby Street.

In other news, Noel Gallagher has installed turnstiles at Easington Colliery, charging punters £5 to urinate on a lump of concrete.

Quadrophenia, aside from its obvious charms to scooterists (and I admit a compulsion to watch it occasionally), isn’t much of a film and is even less of an album, so it’s interesting to see it repackaged yet again. Confusingly, (“Director’s Cut?”) this new 6-disc set doesn’t include the film at all (the DVD is surround mixes of the album), and omits all the great music (by the Who and other R&B greats) that appeared on the original soundtrack, which was re-released in 1993 and 2000.

The album (as opposed to the soundtrack) isn’t horrible, it’s just neither the Mod music that’s the subject of the film, nor the Mod revival music that sparked its release. It’s exactly the noodly late-’70s stadium rock that Revival Mods and Punks were rebelling against at the time. It may be sacrilege (and completely against the point), but I’ve always felt, aside from a couple tracks, the film would have been better off with all music from the mod era. The book included in the box set is the most compelling component, I’d be far more interested in the backstory and Townshend’s memories than hearing demos and gimmicky 5.1 mixes. Townshend calls it “…the best album that I will ever write,” but it says a lot that the album was blocked from #1 on the charts by Pin Ups, David Bowie’s great ’60s cover album… containing two early Who songs.

Via Scooterism, of course.

MAOdern World

October 24, 2011


Our old friend David Smith reports on Beijing’s first Mod all-nighter. Awesome!

Lingotto Special Follow-Up

September 28, 2011

Just what Brooke was hoping for: Motoblog’s report (and great photos) from the Lingotto Special event from Motoblog. I didn’t realize how unique the Lingotto test track is, that must have been an incredible experience!

Red Bull Lingotto Special

September 23, 2011

If you happen to be in Turin Sunday, you won’t want to miss the Red Bull Lingotto Special, a vintage Vespa/Lambretta race at Fiat’s Lingotto test track. I especially dig the creepy neofuturist poster.

Tenor Salvatore Licitra Dies,
Weeks after Vespa Accident

September 6, 2011

Italian tenor (and Ducati ambassador) Salvatore Licitra was seriously injured in a Vespa accident on August 27, and died Monday after two weeks in a coma. Doctors suggested it was likely that Licitra lost control of the scooter after a brain hemorrhage.

Via Silent Ron

More Four Stroke Vespa PX Rumblings

July 29, 2011

SIP Scooter Shop reports that they have a reliable source confirming that Vespa will be showing off their new 4-stroke powered PX series scooter at the upcoming EICMA show in Milan this Fall. The Genuine Scooter Company LML-made Stella 4-Stroke has recently made it to dealers around the country. But will the new PX come back to America? Would current Vespa dealers want it? One thing that many will be interested in is the design of the engine. Will it be unlike the LML and fit into the classic Vespa frame?

File it all under RUMOR until we see it rolling around Rome.

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